Public Space Schemes
Winner: Eastside City Park, Birmingham by Patel Taylor
Eastside City Park is Birmingham's first new park in 130 years. It is the focal point of the Eastside regeneration area, creating a setting for the surrounding buildings and green route into the district from the city centre. The park consists of a series of notional 'rooms' that are intended to be part of the city's network of physically well-defined public spaces. The main spaces in the park are City Park Square (an event area) and the eastern and western formal lawns, all linked by a spine path. These open spaces are edged by steel and precast concrete structures; groups of single species trees, both evergreen and deciduous; paving; and formal planting that is also arranged into single-species blocks. Within these edges, there are numerous smaller-scale spaces that have specific characteristics and numerous thresholds. The range of scales allows the park to function on both a civic and an individual level. The steel work is painted a very dark green, except for the weathering steel used for the lighting fins and columns in City Park Square that give that space a special characteristic. Prominent steel structures such as the pergolas, planting screens and the lighting fins all help to define the structure of the park. The lighting fins are sculptural features on the terraces of the square. Their height, colour and leaf-patterned cladding panels give them prominence as reference points within the park. They are internally lit from below, which highlights each one's subtly different cladding. The 3mx190m water feature is a strong part of the composition, defining the south-facing promenade. On its north edge there is a zone of Scots pines and iroko and steel seating. Summertime paddling is sure to be popular!
The judges said:
'At once formal and relaxed; skilfully unified'
'A lovely use of materials'